Uneven Development

Alice Navratilová
OPVK Inovace výuky geografických studijních oborů, CZ.1.07/2.2.00/15.0222
Geographies of Development –
the structure of the course
 1) Measurements of inequalities and
 patterns of development
 A) historical dimension of uneven development
 B) the nature of inequalities and legitimization of
Multi-disciplinary approach
(besides geography)
 Development economics: patterns of uneven
History of social thought – projects of colonization,
modernity, development and globlalization
Development studies – different development paradigms
Antropology: antropology of development
Sociology, political science: civil society, global civil society
Public administration: achieving MDGs and case studies on
health policies.
Geographies of Development –
the structure of the course I
2 Conceptualising development
a) Questioning development
b) Understanding colonialism
c) Theories and strategies of
d) Globalization, development and
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Geographies of Development –
the structure of the course II
 2) Development in practice
 A) methodologies of development – project cycle
 Logical framework analysis
 B) participatory development
 C) institutions of development
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Geographies of Development –
the structure of the course III
 3) Spaces of development
 A) Local social movements and development
 B) Global civil society and development
 C) Urban spaces
 D) Rural spaces
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World inequalities – development
 Does world inequality rise or fall?
 What is the development over the last two decades?
 Why inequality matters?
 Are world markets equitable?
 Why power matters?
World inequality
 Rising inequality at odds with conventional economic
wisdom about how income differentials between
countries change over time
 80s and 90s – giving more space to the global market –
would lead to closing of the income gap
 However income convergence took place only for a
samll number of countries
 More successful countries tended to be cautious in
pursuing trade and financial reforms.
Why inequality matters
 Inequality matters especially within developing
countries – injustice, but also unequal opportunities –
economic potential stays unutilized
 Better education and wealth – allows to take fuller
advantage of economic opportunities
 Inequality breeds more inequality
 Trade-off - equity vs motivation
World inequality
 Better endowments enjoyed by rich countries – give
them preferential access to capital markets and
makes them less vulnerable (Ocampo, Vos, 2008:2)
 Markets are not equitable – inverstors prefer less risky
 Economy of poorer countries less diversified
 Patent protection – intellectual property rights
(WTO) – increase costs incurred by poor countries in
securing innovation, medicines
World inequality
 Economic and political power tend to be reinforcing
 The rules governing global markets are likely to be less
advantageous for developing countries
 Monterrey Consensus mandate to the international
community to improve participation of developing
countries in international decision-making
 Widening global assymetries harm growth and
prevent poor countries for reaping the full gains of
global development (Ocampo, Vos, 2008:3)
World inequalities – development
 World inequality is high and rising
 The distribution of income across the world´s
nations is extraordinarily skewed (Ray, 2007:10).
 How to measure inequalities?
 GDP – advantages and disadvantages? (to facilitate
comparison – local currency into US dollars, problems:
a)fluctuating exchange rate; b) intra-state
World inequalities
 GDP – 1993 – yeardstick, world production 24trillion
20% of production coming from low and middle income
Switzerland enjoyed a per capita income close to 400
times of Tanzania
World inequalities
 GNP – ibid.
 PPP – purchasing power parity
 Disparities are enormous, no amout of fine-tuning in
measurement methods can get rid of the stark
inequalities (Ray, 2007:11).
World inequalities
 Average Ethiopian 35times poorer than European or
Income level (PPP) in 1950 1/16 of American
Now average US citizen 27 times of average Nepalete,
up from 19 in 1950
OCAMPO, J.A.; VOS,R.(2006):Uneven Economic
Development, London: Zed Books.
(Ocampo, Vos, 2006:1)
Growth of Inequalities
Positive economics
Normative economics
Weaknesses in data available (Ray,
 Underreporting of income is not uncommon in
developing countries; tax systéms not as efficient as in
developed economies - greater incentive to
underreport income or output for tax purposes.
 National accounts may not be comprehensive as well
 The proportion of income that is actually generated fro
self-consumption is relatively high in developing
Weaknesses in data available (Ray,
 Prices for many goods are not appropriately reflected in
exchange rates
Exchange rates are just prices, and the levels of these prices
depends only on dommodities (including capital) that
cross international borders;
thus goods and services that arenot internationally traded
reflected innappropriately
Prices of nontraded goods (infrastructure and many
services do not affect exchange rate.
Relatively low prices for nontraded goods – conversion to
US dollars underestimates the real incomes of poorer
Attempt at correction – PPP: Heston-Summers data set.
PPP – purchasing power parity
 UN International Comparison Program (ICP)
 ICP collects data on prices of 400-700 items in ieach of
a set of benchmark countries.
 150 expenditure categories
 PPP for any coutnry is the ratio of its domenstic
currency expenditures to the international price
value of its output.
 International prices are constructed for an enormous
basket of goods and services by averaging the prices
(expresses in dollars)for each such good and service
over all different coutnreis.
PPP, WB indicators
 PPP of per capita income go some way toward reducing
the astonishing disparities in the world distribution of
income (Ray, 2007:15)
 World Development Indicators, 2011
 http://data.worldbank.org
 http://data.worldbank.org/indicator
 Overviews of different ways of defining development
 Quantitative vs. qualitative conceptions of
 Focus on socio-economic improvements since 70s, but
net increase in inequalities
 In the industrialized world the income level has
steadily grown for the past five decades
 It failed to do so in many developing countries
(Ocampo, Vos, 2006:1)
The nature of development
Thomas (2001)
 Different usages of ´development´
 1) development as fundamental or structural change
 Development as intervention and action aimed at
 Development as the platform for improvement
encompassing changes that will facilitate development
in the future
The ´essence´ of development
 Different views of development
 A) what constitutes development?
 B) who participates in development?
 C) which institutions promote development?
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Positive interpretation of
 Development brings about economic growth
 national progress
 modernisation along Western lines
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Positive connotation wt
 Improves the provision of basic needs
 Can help create sustainable growth
 Improves governance
 (Potter et al., 2008:5)
Alternative interpretations of
 Critiques of development :
 Development is a dependent and subordinate process
 Development creates and deepens spatial inequalities
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Alternative interpretations of
 D. undermines local cultures and
 D. perpetuates poverty and poor
working and living conditions
Critiques of development
 D. is environmentally
 D. infringes human rights and
undermines democracy (Potter et
al., 2008:5)
 Development as
Amartya Sen
Freedom (2000)
 Themes – poverty,
famine, capabilities,
inequality, democracy
 Development consists of
the removal of various
types of unfreedoms that
leave people with littel
choice and little
opportunity for
exersicing their reasoned
Development as freedom
 Human freedom tends to promote
freedoms of other kinds: many different
interconnections between distinct
instrumental freedoms
 Economic and political freedoms help
to reinforce one another
 (Although some argue the opposite)
Development as Freedom
 Social opportunites in the fields of heath
care and education – which require public
action – complement individual
opporutinites for economic and political
 Thus – intrinsic importance of human
Classification of Development
 1) Modernisation School
 2) Dependency School
 3) Neo-liberalism and current New Institutional
 4) human development (basic needs approach, rigthsbased approach, development as freedom, MDGs)
Classification of Development
 5) alternative development
 Alternative to mainstream development
 Global civil society
 Fluid category – what was in 70s alternative –
currently mainstream (sustainable development,
 6) Post-development
 Said, Escobar, Sachs, post-structuralist discoursive
analysis of development
Euro-centricity of development –
basic criticism
Ideological biases
Lack of sensitivity to cultural
Setting of ethical norms
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Euro-centricity of development –
basic criticism
 Stereotyping of other people
 Tendency towards deterministic
 Dominance of ´male´ narratives – vs.
subaltern voices
 (Potter et al., 2008:5)
Euro-centricity of development –
basic criticism
 Tendency towards reductionism
 Tendency towards the building of
grand theories
 underlying tones of racial superiority
 Unilinearity
 Universalism
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Mainstream economics
 western economics – logically closed system
 Assumptions are substituted for reality
 Mainstream economics is neither values-free nor
tolerant of non-Western cultures-
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Peet, R.; Hhartwick, H.: Theories of
Development , New York: Hulford
 Modernity - philosophies that characterize the modern
Western world
Positivist through to modernization theorists of teh 20th
Human reason and rational behavior as the mainspring of
social progress
Ideas are strenuously empirically based but also thought to
be logical productively between human being and the rest
of the natural world .
Reasoned thinking produces science and technology as
Different histories, diverse
narratives, autochton chronologies
 China and Japan - over thousand years of self-
 Thought of themselves as unified people
Commitment fo Development
Index (CDI)
 Center for Global Development
 Ranks OECD DAC countries (22 in total) according to
their dedication to policies that help the ´majority´ of
the world (5 billion people in poorer countries)
 Index looks beyond the standard comparisons of
foreign aid flows
 Measurement of ´development friendliness´ of 22
Commitment fo Development
Index (CDI)
7 dimensions : aid, trade, investment, migration,
environment, security, and technology
Operationalization of MDGs no 8, effort to measure not
only quantity but also quality of aid.
The Index penalizes countries that give with one hand,
for instance through aid or investment, but take away
with the other, through trade barriers or pollution.
Closer look at the structure of development aid – tied aid.
Commitment to Development
Index 2010
 Center for Global Development (CGD) - a non-profit
think-tank based in Washington, on the initiative of
David Roodman
 In 2003 CGD first published the Index in Foreign
Policy magazine – to provoke discussion, highlight
gaps in current knowledge, and encourage policy
 The Index was published annually in conjunction with
Foreign Policy through 2006, and since published by
CGD alone.
Classifications of countries
Patterns of develpment
Economics of Development, New York: Norton and
On-line data bases and resources
 World Bank www.worldbank.org; International
Monetary Fund www.imf.org
 The United Nations development organizations:
www.undp.org; www.who.org,
 (cf Perkins et al. 2006:xxiii)
On-line data bases and resources
 Independent Research Organizations : Center for
Global Development www.cgdv.org
 The Cener for International Development at Harvard
University www.cid.harvard.edu
 The Earth Institute at Columbia University
 (cf Perkins et al. 2006:xxiv)
On-line data bases and resources
 The Overseas Development Institute (www.odi.org.uk)
 The World Institute for Development Economics
Research (www.wider.unu.edu)
 The World Resources Institute www.wri.org
 (cf Perkins et al. 2006:xxiv)
Information Gateways
 The Development Gateway
ELDIS: The Electronic Development and Environment
Information Systém
The International Development Research Centre
Data resourses
 The Development Assistance Committe of teh OECD
 The World Factbook
NGOs and Advocacy networks
 Action Aid (www.actionaid.org)
 Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa (DATA, www.data.org)
 The ONE Campaign (www.one.org)
 OXFAM (oxfam.org)

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